February 19, 2013
Dr. Edward Avila
In Darkness and In Light
The year is 1963. Unlike today, segregation amongst the black and white people is very common. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an advisory of his time. King, himself, is from Georgia, but recent events in Alabama, the clergymen stating that segregation should be fought in the courts rather than the streets, have come to his attention. King, in a letter to the Alabama clergymen, argues that regardless of Alabama not being his home turf, he finds it his right to still fight for we all stand together as one people.
King, after the Alabama clergymen addressed him in a work entitled “A Call For Unity” (Insert citation here), wrote a lengthy letter entitled “A Letter to Birmingham Jail.” In the letter, King argues that we are all united as one people and whatever affects one directly will affect all indirectly. (cite) The clergymen called his civil acts of disobedience extreme. King was known for organizing civil, unviolent protests to help spread his word of equality. In response to the clergymen calling him an “extremist” king said, “So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?” King basically was saying that in his mind there were two different kinds of extremists, those who are hateful and violent, and those who do it for the right reasons and for love and peace. King was most definitely the latter.
Although the “Letter” was addressed solely to the clergymen, King knew many different people would see it. He was speaking as a whole for the entire segregation movement for equality. Without King speaking for the entire movement, not only the Clergymen, but also all the prejudice people of that time would still have skewed minds over the whole movement. They would think that King’s “riots” (if they could even be called that) were just an act of civil disobedience rather than King fighting for the right things. King wanted his letter to be out bridged to a wide audience. While being from Atlanta, Georgia, king was fighting a cause all the way in Alabama via letter. King used tactics such as this to make a point and show a vast audience that he was strong in what he believed in and would not stop until something had been done to help him get what it is he wanted; equality. It may not have come immediately, but King initiating the first couple moves really helped the entire cause as a whole. His well-written letters and peaceful revolts helped in forming what is today a “more perfect union.”
King addressed the clergymen of Alabama. King himself, was a “man of God.” He wittingly often referred to the bible in his letter, knowing that referencing something that the clergymen knew well and dear, such as the bible, would get an appropriate response in the clergymen. King used the word of God as backbone in all his arguments. Again